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Bombay High Court order may force NMMC to raze 441 illegal shrines soon

NMMC hints to go ahead with the demolition at the earliest only if its officials are offered police protection.

Officials said police presence during the demolition drive was necessary to prevent locals from turning violent.

The list of structures the NMMC wants to demolish include 101 structures in Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) area and 325 structures in the City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra (Cidco) nodal areas. There are eight and seven illegal shrines built on NMMC and forest department land.

The Bombay High court has given time till December 17 to raze these illegal structures.

As per survey conducted by CIDCO two years ago, there were 667 illegal shrines in the city. These include those in south Navi Mumbai and those outside NMMC’s jurisdiction. Navi Mumbai had 483 illegal shrines of which 22 were regularised and 161 were embroiled in controversy.

In areas governed by the CIDCO, some organisations have submitted documents to prove their existence for years.

Hence, the CIDCO has sought a month’s time to conduct another survey.

A meeting was held between CIDCO, MIDC, NMMC and forest department officials, where the issue of illegal shrines was discussed.

Once the CIDCO submits its final survey, the joint action against the illegal shrines will be taken in the next five months. While, no demolition action is undertaken against residential structures in monsoon, there is no such restriction for illegal shrines.

NMMC additional municipal commissioner Ankush Chavan said, “We are bound by the high court order to take action against illegal shrines. Once the CIDCO submits its final repot, action will be taken against illegal shrines.

The high court order has classified the illegal shrines into those that can be shifted, those that can be regularised and those that have to be demolished.

As per the order, action has to be taken against all those illegal places of worship constructed after September 2009.

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NMTV was launched in the year 1999, and is Maharashtra only accredited 24-hour, 7-day-a-week local cable news station of Navi Mumbai airing news bulletins and programs in English, Hindi and Marathi. NMTV represents the state-of-the-art in local television news coverage, delivering on a commitment of responsible and community-oriented journalism on an around-the-clock basis.

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